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Old 10-10-2003, 09:36   #1 (permalink)
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E.U.:U.S. denies Iraq war link in Ford Belgium job cuts

Automotive News
Reuters / October 10, 2003

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- The United States on Friday dismissed reports linking 3,000 job cuts at a Belgian plant of Ford Motor Co. to Belgium's opposition to the war in Iraq.

Ford Europe is to cut the jobs at its plant in Genk in eastern Belgium amid slumping sales and cutthroat price competition. Two newspapers said the decision was linked to Belgium's opposition to the invasion led by the United States.

"There is no link whatsoever between these matters," the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

"Overseas direct investment decisions are solely the responsibility of the investing companies," it added.

Ford denied that "political considerations" had influenced its plans.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has said that the state security service was alerted in June by "an occasional, nonverifiable, anonymous source" that the Genk plant could become the victim of Belgium's antiwar stance.

But Verhofstadt said the state security service found "no additional indications for this claim."
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